Dispelling Myths: Common Misconceptions About Hearing Aids

variety of hearing aids

Approximately 375 million American adults experience some trouble hearing, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). Despite the number of people who struggle with hearing issues, hearing aid misconceptions and myths abound. 

If you struggle with hearing issues and are hesitant about turning to hearing aids, it’s essential that you learn the truth so you don’t let hearing loss myths prevent you from improving your hearing. 

Myth 1: Hearing Aids Are Only for the Elderly

People assume that only the elderly need to rely on hearing aids, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. People in all age ranges need them. Stanford Medicine states that as many as three million children use hearing aids in the United States — 1.3 million are under the age of three. 

The World Health Organization expects that up to 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults will experience hearing loss, which means they’ll likely need some form of treatment. 

The sooner someone with hearing loss gets hearing aids, the better. Keep in mind that delaying treatment results in sound deprivation, which could lead to irreparable hearing loss. 

Myth 2: Hearing Aids Make You Look Old or Weak

Another of the most pervasive hearing loss myths is that hearing aids are bound to make you look old or weak. However, hearing loss can occur for a variety of reasons, not just as a result of the aging process. 

These days, hearing aid designs are so advanced that most people won’t even be able to see that you’re wearing a hearing aid. Some, like the completely-in-the-canal hearing aid, are nearly invisible. 

Even if your hearing aid is visible, there’s nothing weak about getting the help you need. You could become a role model for those around you who may need assistance with hearing and are too worried about the stigma attached to hearing aids.

Myth 3: Hearing Aids Completely Restore Normal Hearing

Another of the most common hearing aid misconceptions is that you will be able to hear perfectly the moment you put your hearing aids in. That’s not how they work, however. Unlike glasses, which immediately correct your eyesight, your brain has to adjust to the new level of sound coming in through the hearing aids. 

Your aid has to be programmed to your exact hearing ability, and this could mean a few trips to your audiologist. What you can expect, however, is a significant improvement in the quality and clarity of the sound.

Myth 4: Hearing Aids Are Uncomfortable and Inconvenient

It’s true that hearing aids in the past tended to be bulky and uncomfortable, but that’s no longer the case. Their sleek designs are comfortable to wear and easy to use, with options that allow people with dexterity issues to manipulate them without strain. There are even extended-wear aids made of soft materials and designed to fit the curves of your ear.

Many hearing aids have wireless connectivity, allowing you to operate them via your phone, as well as rechargeable batteries that make using them a breeze. 

Myth 5: You Can Buy Hearing Aids Without Professional Guidance

Hearing aids offer the best results when you go to a professional for a diagnostic hearing evaluation. They can help you find the right hearing technology that addresses your lifestyle, hearing level, and more.

An audiologist can also properly program the hearing aid and calibrate it to your exact needs. None of that’s possible if you buy your hearing aid online or over the counter without consulting a professional. 

Myth 6: Hearing Loss Is Not a Significant Health Concern

Untreated hearing loss puts you at a higher risk of experiencing cognitive decline, depression, social isolation, and even falls. 

It has been proven that hearing aids reduce the rate of cognitive decline in older adults at high risk of dementia by almost 50% over a 3-year period. 

https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/hearing-aids-slow-cognitive-decline-people-high-risk

One theory that hearing loss causes cognitive issues is that not being able to hear well puts a lot of strain on the brain. This strain could take away resources the brain uses for other functions, including short-term memory. 

If you’re not able to hear correctly, you also put yourself in danger in all kinds of situations, including the simple act of crossing a street. 

Myth 7: Hearing Aids Are Only for Severe Hearing Loss

Hearing aids work for all degrees of hearing loss. Whether you have mild or severe hearing issues, you can get an aid that is carefully programmed to fit your needs. People with any degree of hearing loss should consider using hearing aids before the loss gets worse.

In some cases, hearing aids could slow down the progression of hearing loss. 

Myth 8: Hearing Aids Are Too Expensive

Hearing aids come in a range of prices, and the most expensive option may not be the right choice for you regardless of your budget. When you visit an audiologist, they can guide you in finding the right hearing aids in your price range. 

Financial assistance is also available when you turn to an audiologist. For example, you may be able to use CareCredit or Wells Fargo Health Advantage. Most audiologists work with major insurance plans, and there would be financing available to help you get the hearing aids you need. 

Keep in mind that investing in a hearing aid could save you money in the long run. When you take into account that you could be avoiding substantial cognitive decline, a hearing aid becomes a powerful financial decision. 

Empowering Informed Decisions

Your hearing is too important to ignore — don’t give credence to hearing loss myths and misconceptions. Even if you think you’re “just” missing out on a few types of sounds or “only” having a bit of trouble hearing certain voices, your brain could be doing a lot of extra work that could harm your overall health. 

By learning the truth about hearing aids, including that they come in a variety of sizes, styles, and prices, you could be helping your present and future self live a happier and healthier life. 

Being proactive is essential to maintaining hearing health, so make sure to schedule regular hearing check-ups no matter what kind of hearing issues you have. At Happy Ears Hearing Center, we can help you by providing personalized hearing solutions. Contact us today.